South Carolina Divorce Law: Adultery

In South Carolina, adultery is one of the grounds for divorce in a fault-based divorce. While pursuing a fault-based divorce, one of the parties must prove that their partner is guilty of marital misconduct. That includes adultery or cheating, among other matrimonial misconducts.

The process of pursuing a fault-based divorce can be expensive, and it can take up a lot of time. If you want a divorce process that will be less time-consuming and one that will not cost you much, you should instead go for a no-fault divorce process.

The evidence of adultery in a fault-based divorce proceeding will be considered unless one of the parties consented to the other party’s affair or if both of the parties cheated in the marriage. Adultery will not impact child custody. However, it will have an effect on spousal support. South Carolina divorce law adultery cases are serious compared to other states regarding preventing the cheating spouse from getting alimony. Even if the cheating spouse needs financial support, if there are clear signs of infidelity, the unfaithful spouse will be barred from getting spousal support.

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The Effects of Adultery in South Carolina Divorce

Adultery will have a significant effect on the issue of alimony in South Carolina. There are several types of alimony. Here are examples of alimony payments that can be issued by divorce courts.

  • Pendente lite. This is a type of temporary financial support paid to a supported party as the divorce proceedings go on.
  • Periodic alimony. This type of financial support is paid in monthly installments. It is paid until the spouse dies, gets remarried, or changes in either spouse’s financial circumstance.
  • Lump-sum alimony. Lump-sum alimony is made in either one or more installments. It can be issued in the form of cash or property.
  • Rehabilitative alimony. A court will issue the support if they deem that a spouse needs more time to be self-sufficient. If, for example, they are in school or completing specific training for a job, the court can ask them to be given rehabilitative alimony until they can support themselves. The sum can be issued periodically or in lump-sum.
  • Reimbursement alimony. It is paid when the judge determines that one of the spouses should pay the other for things paid for during marriage—for example, education.
  • Separate maintenance. This is an amount of money paid when spouses who are not divorced live separately and apart. If one of the spouses still needs support from the other the judge will make a separate maintenance decree.
South Carolina Divorce Law: Adultery

In South Carolina, if adultery is proven in a family court during a divorce proceeding, alimony will not be issued.

Adultery will not only affect alimony. It can as well affect property division. If the cheating spouse used marital finances or marital assets to buy expensive gifts during the affair, it would affect how property will be divided. The court can decide to give the guilty spouse less in terms of property to reimburse the afflicted party.

A few Things That You Should Know about Adultery in South Carolina

In South Carolina, adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. Most people commonly refer to adultery as cheating. Cheating on your spouse in South Carolina can have both financial and legal implications when it is time to file for a divorce. Here are some things that you should know about adultery in South Carolina.

When You can Prove Adultery the Divorce Process Will Move Quickly

When a faithful party is able to show burden of proof the other partner was having an extramarital affair, they can file for a fault-based divorce. A fault-based divorce will allow you to file for a divorce immediately. After, you can request a hearing, and within ninety days, the court will have a ruling.

If it is a no-fault divorce, the parties will have to be separated for one year and still file for divorce and wait for a scheduled hearing.

A Spouse That Has Committee Infidelity Is Not Entitled to Alimony

The spouse that has been caught engaging in sexual intimacy with other people looses their legal grounds to ask for alimony. There are a few factors that would change that situation. One of them is the party gave consent to the infidelity, or both parties were unfaithful. If one party is at fault, it will determine the disposition of property and alimony.

Infidelity Does Not Affect Child Support or Child Custody Agreement

Adultery will not impact how child support obligation will be calculated even if it will affect the division of marital property. Child support will be calculated based on the number of children, incomes, and the duration in which the parent has the children over. Child custody arrangements will be affected if it is proven before a family court judge that the spouse acted in a way that was not in the children’s best interest. For example, if the husband brought a girlfriend around the children while still married. Even though it can be used in court, the impact on child support will not be grave.

If You are Seeing Someone While Separated, It Is Regarded as Cheating

There are states where you have the consent to go ahead and have romantic relationships with other people after legal separation. However, in South Carolina, if you are dating or having sexual relations with another person after physical separation, it is considered infidelity. If the innocent party shows direct proof of the sexual relationship in court, then legal consequences will follow.

There Has to Be Adequate Proof of Adultery

Circumstantial evidence can be shown using pictures, videos, or other digital material. Even so, it is not the only proof that can be used. The aggrieved party needs to prove that the individual had both the inclination and the opportunity to cheat. Inclination is seen if the spouse is seen displaying public affection towards someone other than their spouse. A chance to cheat can be seen if the cheating spouse puts themselves in a compromising situation. If the cheating spouse spent all night in a hotel or they were in a hotel for a long period of time with a person other than their partner, then they had the opportunity to cheat.

A woman taking off her wedding ring.

How to Prove Adultery in South Carolina

The faithful spouse must be able to gather proof of adultery in South Carolina. You don’t need to catch your spouse in action. However, you need to understand the kind of evidence that will stand in court. You can as well consider hiring the services of a private investigator to gather evidence. Divorce lawyers can help you find the best private investigators to work with.

Understanding what is taken as adultery in South Carolina will help you know the kind of proof that you should gather.

Have an understanding of the best divorce tactic to use in court. Trying to prove infidelity on your own can be challenging and almost impossible. That is why most people who want to have a winning chance hire the services of experienced divorce lawyers.

How Forgiving Adultery Can Affect Your Case

Forgiving adultery will impact your divorce proceeding. Forgiving the infidelity is seen as condoning it. As a result, the divorce process will take a longer time since you may be unable to change action for divorce and file it  under a fault based ground.

If the non-cheating spouse continues to cohabit in the marital home for an extended period after finding out about the affair, then a cheating spouse can use condonation as a defense. How long the couple stayed together after finding out about the affair will determine if there is evidence of forgiveness. You can talk to a Greenville, South Carolina, family law divorce attorneys if you have any questions concerning condonation.

Suppose it is proven that the other party forgave the cheating spouse after their adulterous conduct. In that case, it will eliminate the at-fault divorce unless there are other list of factors in play.

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